My Arducopter Project

Hi there.

I'm Alex from belgium.Just Discovered The Arducopter 3-4 days ago.

I love this project and just Decided to build mine.

My RC World Knowledge ... Null

My DIY experience ... 1000% All I Can Do by myself I did!

Hope Some guys here Cdn bracket me and point me in the right direction.

Here we go.

Project description

Quadcopter is based Arducopter system.

Special feature: camera mount, LED navigation, and a second time in FPV mode.

Parts and material

- Electronics : ArduPilot Mega,ArduPilot Mega IMU,Pin Headers,Con Headers,Servo cable, Magnetometer, GPS...

- Frame: fully home made. Materials yet undefined goal I Have access to a cnc machine. I think the arms are made of aluminum and other composite materials

- Radio tx / rx: Eurgle 2.4GHz 9 Channel Radio

- Battery: 2 x 5800mAh 30C ZIPPY Flightma3S1P (only one they are mounted, The Other Is In Reserve)

- Motors: because the battery is bigger and the quadcopter will be equipped with a camera mount I do not know what engine power, or what model should I choose, there are so many type, I'm lost...

- Propellers: Again, I do not know whatI have to to choose propellers in line with the engines, size,....

- ESC: once I can defined the engines, I could choose the esc. Do you have any specific advice?

- Servo: I need 2 servos for the Camera wort. I dont know exactly What I need.

Here is the basic work of my project. I still have a lot of questions and unknowns. I try to look for the more answers by myself but I hope that you will give me some help here.


- Navigation LEDs: I would like to know how many output are still available on the arduino and what is the output voltage? Do you have any info on navigation LED programming for the arducopter ?

- Range / Autonomy: To get an idea, what can we expect as range and Autonomy with a 5800mAh battery?

Hope I can learn and share many things in this community

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  • Hi alex,

    here is how i went through my project, some idea.

    the frame : depends of the mtow, so the payload, if it s under 3kg a quad is a good idea, if it s over it s really easier to build an hexa. You will go through the pid tunning and the easiest way is to use the autotune feature, which won't work with low kv and big props (<500kv, >17"). The more you project is heavy, the more you need big props, slow kv then.

    material : aluminium weight almost as carbone, and is really easier to work. carbon always need other aluminium part to assemble stuff on it...On aluminium you can drill into it, bend it, paint it....

    to design your copter : , if you pay no prob, if you dont you will have to refresh the pages till you get the motor you want.. And they are really pessimist on flight time. With ecalc, define your weight, then your batterie (<3kg 3S, <5kg 4S, and so on), then find the proper combination between motors (always prefer the lowest kv and larger prop) and props, then your esc.

    Throw away your chinese stuff, i burnt a lot of motors, esc's as they are given for some specs but not really do it. And prefer 3dr stuff, i went through rctimer arduflyer, gps, compas, they are really not as good as 3dr are. (i know for overseas customers you get awfull shipping fees, but they are good quality....)

    good work!!

  • Developer

    Life is full off challenges like they say. Yours is not the worst one. Welcome.


    It looks like most of the things are already well handled. That's a good starting point.


    For motors and other, I would suggest that stay under 1000Kv motors and start with 10" propellers. Then it will be easy to choose your ESC's too. This is due usually 1000Kv motors cannot use more than 16-18Amps without burning. Unless you make special design motors which I doubt.


    Rather good choices on efficiency, weight etc are original ArduCopter motors. They will take you already rather far and you do not need to go trough all the pain that we did. At least according that motor graveyard what I have on my office room.


    As for the ESC's, basically what ever 18-25Amp ESC will work but then again we have looked even that for you already. If you plan to use ArduCopter motors then best choice would be naturally ArduCopter 20Amp ESC's. There are also 30Amp version available if you really need heavy loads.


    For the heavy loads we have few choices and in next 2-3 weeks there will be more motors coming to fill out our "graveyard". We are currently looking some really heavyduty but efficient motors. Can we find any that fills out needs, well future will tell that.


    Even thou you do have big batteries on board, creating maximum thrust with minimum current it the catch to have long and steady flights.


    Camera mounts, generally what ever servo is ok. Mainly it matters on how you design your mounts. Even smallest servos can lift 600gr and if you have small camera hanging from axis you don't need to much force anyways. It's again issue of speed/efficiency and used mAh's


    There are still a lot of ports free on APM/IMU boards and also lighting system has been already created for you. You can look some of our older drawings about those. Or browse trough our wiki pages for more picture and diagrams.

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